Healthcare in Thailand

To many foreigners surprise, Thailand offers a remarkably good healthcare system and has become one of the world’s major ‘medical tourism’ destinations. Thailand offers good healthcare for a lower cost than that found in other countries.

Dentists, Doctors and opticians are readily available in Thailand and tend to move around to work at a number of different clinics and hospitals. Most Doctors in the country understand English.

Health Insurance

Expats in Thailand are not covered by the state’s health insurance programmes instead if you do not want to pay for medical treatment you will need to invest in private health insurance. If working in the country for a big company your employee will often provide health cover.

Emergencies in Thailand

The emergency number in Thailand is 191. Although emergency transport in Thailand is not yet fully developed, large hospitals in Thailand have mobile intensive care ambulances where you can obtain immediate treatment. However, you will rarely see an ambulance racing through the streets of Thai cities.

Staying healthy

If you are not used to a tropical climate, you may find it hard to acclimatise to the heat. There are a number of ways to stay healthy and get your body used to your new environment.

When it comes to Thai food you should definitely embrace local cuisine over heavy foreign food. Eating and cooking is a major part of Thai culture but it pays to be cautious. Before arriving in the country make sure you are protected against hepatitis A and be wary of shellfish such as oysters, mussels and clams. These should be avoided as they are the foods most likely to give food poisoning. When it comes to water use do not drink it. Avoid ice cubes!

When it comes to eating in Thai restaurants there are many intestinal parasites, bacteria and viruses which can be transmitted via food, water and eating utensils. Usually, the most serious one is hepatitis A. You should check glasses and eating utensils before using them to make sure they are clean.

Another danger comes from mosquito bites. To avoid being bitten follow these steps:

  • Apply anti-mosquito lotions and sprays.
  • Cover your body with clothes, including thick socks (even if you wear sandals).
  • It is said that mosquitoes are more attracted to dark colours, so white clothes and nightwear are recommended.
  • Do not apply perfumes and colognes.
  • Request mosquito coils at restaurants.
  • When travelling always take your mosquito net with you.

Before arriving in Thailand make sure you receive all necessary inoculations from your GP.